Saving the Planet

George Carlin did a bit a few years back about what a ridiculous notion “saving the planet” really is. The planet isn’t in danger, he claimed, and it’s not something that needs saving. If anything, we’re in danger from the planet (natural disasters, disease, etc). Of course, since his act usually revolves around the cranky misanthrope spouting his general hatred for humanity, his act twists from this notion into a hopeful glee that the human race will eventually extinguish from the Earth. (you can never tell if George Carlin is actually misanthropic, but I don’t have the heart to Google “why did George Carlin hate me” to find out).

During his humorous jabs at the movement, George Carlin brings up a very valid point – the “Save the Earth” folks seem to be misstating their goals. It isn’t the same as preserving a coin collection so you and your friends can marvel at your ability to shine things; it’s more like remembering to not spit into the wind.

George Carlin would point out that saving the planet is selfish and human-centric, since we are just worried about saving our own kind (rather than doing something for the mystic good of Mother Earth). Well, what’s wrong with that? I enjoy the thought that people prefer to work for mankind compared to doing the unspoken bidding of a vague pagan deity.

Most of the people working to save the planet are respectable: scientists, engineers, etc. Sadly, those most vocal about the movement have a hard time separating their egos from the cause. And their counterparts on the other side of the political line can only see them, rather than any of the work being done.

So the next time you hear a debate about saving the planet, realize no one’s really on the other side of that issue. It’s just a venting of egos between hotheads who are too busy thinking of things to say to actually listen.


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